I dream of you.
I pulled out a drawer and found the note I wrote to you when you first had surgery. Mom gave it back to me when you passed.
I told you not to be afraid.
And this is when I began to love.
You took the note from my hand and kissed me on the cheek.
I made my way back to the house, stepping over the pavement pieces that are a bit unsteady.
Tears filled my eyes.
This was not goodbye, but it was learning to let go.
My throat is tight, writing this. My eyes are blurry.
All of the unknowns, flying over my head.
Hours spent, worrying and waiting.
And to me, you were never the same.
Falls, crashes, absentmindedness.
I knew it was a sign, when mom made Christmas dinner.
When come New Years, you went to bed at 10:00.
When mom found scones on your counter.
White chocolate raspberry, your favorite.
I had brought them to you a few days ago.
You had forgotten them.
So much time has passed, and yet it seems just like yesterday.
Your bedroom, no longer inhabited by you.
Instead, you spent your days in the guest room, propped up on the hospital bed.
You were quiet.
I always made sure the nurses weren’t covering both of your feet with the bed covers.
I knew you liked to regulate your temperature.
It all happened so fast.
And yet so slow.
I remember your soft breathing.
How you held a wooden cross and tiny stuffed kitten.
I don’t know where they came from, but they were with you until the last moment.
That day, before work, I went to your room to say goodbye.
I rubbed your feet with lotion. The first time I can recall touching your feet.
Those feet had been places.
I slipped into the bed beside you, just like when I was young and we had sleepovers.
I held your hand.
I whispered goodbye, imagining the effect I wished it would have.
I wished you would open your eyes.
That my voice would revive you.
But I understand.
You were tired.
And you knew.
You are loved.